My Rating: 4 Stars
Docs Keepin Time (Black Beauty)
Black Beauty was born on Farmer Grey's farm in England during the 19th century. He was just a typical horse with a typical life in that era but author Anna Sewell immortalized him, showing the world that just because something or someone is classed 'typical' doesn't mean that it is unimportant.
This film is well done, for the most part. It chronicles Black Beauty's life, hitting the 'important' parts (the ones that come to mind when we remember the book) and people. My favorite character is Jerry Barker (David Thewlis). A kinder man you never did see. But the parts with the Gordon children, Jessica, Molly and Alfred, were very fun and added a whimsical air to the film.
What I Liked:
1: How clean the film is.
2: The beautiful photography of horses/scenery/people.
3: How well England is portrayed.
4: 99% of the acting is wonderful.
5: The main horses used were gorgeous creatures.
6: The score... ranks with “Miss Potter”!
7: Jerry Barker/David Thewlis. Bravo!
What I Didn't Like:
1: There were a few instances that seemed unrealistic.
2: A few of the tricks of the trade were obvious... for instance, when Reuben and Black Beauty have their accident, and Black Beauty is led away you can see something is on his foot to make him limp.
3: Sean Bean didn't get a bigger part. He's a phenomenal actor.
4: How they used a stunt man instead of Sean Bean to train Black Beauty to run while saddled.
5: Why did they have to make John hit the water instead of having the man at the other end of the bridge, like in the book? It would have been better. Especially since the water was so obviously not deep.
6: They should have picked an actor that could cry or not had 'old' Joe weep when he finds Black Beauty again.
Do I recommend this film? Yes... it's a great kids movie. Very clean, funny, with happy and sad parts. :-)